Three-wheel wonder gaining ground in Southeast Asia
What could be better than riding a Trikke on a tropical island? Try being the one who introduced the joyride of the 21st century to a country comprised of more than 17,000 tropical islands with a combined population of 238 million.
That distinction belongs to Edwargo Setjadiningrat, whose own carving journey began upon seeing a Trikke infomercial while visiting San Francisco in 2007. Three years later, in January, 2010, he stood on a Trikke for the very first time. By the end of the year, Trikke had met Indonesia, and vice versa.
More than just a dealership, Trikke Indonesia is a community, says Setjadiningrat, the exclusive dealer in his territory who started the business with members of his family.
Thanks to Trikke Indonesia, riders in Jakarta, the country’s economic, cultural and political center, get together for group rides and events throughout the city of nearly ten million. One such event is called Car Free Days, when the downtown area is off limits to gas-guzzlers, instead opening up to pedestrians, bikers, joggers, walkers, Trikke riders and other forms of green transportation.
As Trikkes appear in local festivals and demonstrations, Setjadiningrat’s Trikke community is growing steadily. Recently, he carved a nifty niche for Trikkes in Ancol Ecopark, a first-of-its-kind reforestation program created from an existing golf course. Now one can rent Trikkes and traverse the lanes of the park, which are lined by thousands of rare trees and plants.
Can one man really change an entire nation by introducing them to the three-wheel wonder? TrikkeWorld went in search of answers in our exclusive interview with Edwargo Setjadiningrat, the man behind Trikke Indonesia.
TrikkeWorld Magazine: How did you introduced Trikke Indonesia to Indonesia?
Edwargo Setjadiningrat: We first launched the Trikke during Urbanfest 2010, an alternative art festival for youths, with demonstrations of extreme sports competitions with live indie-rock bands. From that event, held in November, we formed the Trikke Indonesia community with nine members, five of which are my family.
TWM: How many riders are in your club today?
ES: Now we have more than 40 members in our club, with 25 people as our most active members. Their ages vary from 7 to 57 years old.
TWM: How often do you get together for rides?
ES: We ride at least once every two weeks, the second and the last Sundays of the month, on Car Free Days. Sometimes, in between that schedule, we gather with our members and their families. We ride together, we chit chat and then close with breakfast or lunch together.
TWM: Do you often participate in Car Free Day events?
ES: Since November 2010, we have never missed out.
TWM: Tell us about riding in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capitol.
ES: Riding in Jakarta is very nice and fun, not only during Car Free Day events (which are held on the main roads in the business district of Jakarta). Sometimes we ride in Indonesia’s biggest theme park, Taman Impian Jaya Ancol. There are also other interesting housing areas around Jakarta, or in other cities such as Bandung and Sentul City. We have so many places for riding in Jakarta and surrounding areas, and yes, Jakarta is a very beautiful place.
TWM: Finally, what are some of the responses you get while riding your Trikkes?
ES: People are very curious watching us ride the Trikke. They ask how does the Trikke move forward (without kicking off with our foot), and more ask to ride our Trikkes. Some people say it’s easy and nice, and some of them say it’s difficult after trying it for a few minutes, but most of them are interested and say they are going to purchase a Trikke.
Almost all of the national newspapers and TV stations have interviewed us, and some of them have special coverage about our community and they even categorize the Trikke like a virus that will influence lots of people to join the Trikke community.
Also, check out Trikke Indonesia on Facebook.